International communications and IT major Harris Corporation has bagged a five-year, $30 million follow-on contract from defence manufacturer Lockheed Martin to supply high-speed fibre optic network components for the futuristic US Air Force F-22A Raptor fighter jet.
In addition to high-speed fibre optic components, Harris has also provided the fibre-optic lab test equipment for the programme, and the aircraft's data acquisition unit (DAU). This takes the total value of Harris' Raptor contracts for Lockheed to more than $280 million since 1991.
The F-22A Raptor, which is replacing the aging F-15, is the US Air Force's newest and most lethal fighter aircraft. It combines stealth, speed and agility, and has exponentially greater fighting capabilities than any other aircraft worldwide.
The US believes it represents the future of air combat dominance. It recently refused to show the plane at the Paris air show, fearing espionage from other aircraft manufacturers.
In addition to production work for the F-22A Raptor, Harris is developing advanced avionics for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, including image processing, digital map software, multifunction data links, fibre-optic network interfaces, and avionics infrastructure elements such as integrated avionics racks, power supplies and module components. The F-35 will replace the A-10, the AV-8 Harrier, the F-16 and the F/A-18.